This month's theme is "new to me author" and Marie Force came immediately to mind when I was deciding what to read. One of the best things about TBR Day is that it forces me to read things that have been on the back burner waaaayyyy too long. Really. I should have read this (and the rest in the series) back when I got them last summer. I was the winning bidder for Force's "Fatal" series in the 2011 Brenda Novak auction and if I enjoy the rest of them as much as I liked the first, I'm in for a treat.
I had seen Marie Force's name mentioned several times on Twitter and elsewhere as an author to check out. That's how I ended up bidding on these books. The "Fatal" series is similar to JD Robb's "In Death" series in that it follows the same couple throughout. And while heroine Sam Holland is a police detective like Eve Dallas, the similarities pretty much stop there.
Fatal Affair is book #1 and it's where we meet Detective Sgt. Samantha Holland who serves on the District of Columbia's police force. She's called to the scene of murder of a popular young Senator from Virginia. The Senator's body was discovered by his Chief of Staff, Nick Cappuano. Nick and Sam had enjoyed an extremely brief fling 6 years previously. When they meet at the murder scene, it's the first time they've seen each other since. Naturally there's a lot of pressure on Sam to solve this murder, and solve it quickly. Nick was the Senator's best friend. Nick is grieving and Sam needs his help. Yet both are distracted by unresolved feelings from their previous encounter.
As Sam investigates the murder, she begins to discover a side of the Senator that no one knew anything about, not even Nick. And as Sam and Nick's relationship heats up, suddenly their lives are threatened too. Through it all, Sam deals with department politics, the media's interest in this high profile case, her own family, and fallout from a previous case that resulted in the death of a young child. Force manages to deftly weave all of these subplots together, introduce some interesting secondary characters, and keep the romance hot between Sam and Nick. I also very much enjoyed the book's setting in D.C. and the political aspects involved. I thought it was a well-rounded look at police work in the District and some of the challenges that must be involved there.
I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books which follow Sam and Nick as their relationship develops. And it appears that there will be secondary romances for some of the characters I met in this first book. Once again, another recommended read for TBR Day. An excellent year so far!